You don’t have to wait until Halloween to get your spook on.
Several haunted attractions have already opened for the season, either in Davis County or close enough to be within easy driving distance for residents, and will stay that way now through Halloween. Though there are no age restrictions on most of the haunts, parents are asked to keep their children’s sensibilities in mind before bringing them along.
The full attraction features several haunts, all scattered throughout the amusement park. Each is designed for different scare levels – Spook-A-Boo Walk Through and Scary & Crow’s Straw Maze is safe for even younger children, while Nightwalk, Zombie Lockdown, and the new Frightening Frisco all offer the biggest scares the attraction has to offer. A complete list of all the attractions, their location in the park, and their fear level is available online at lagoonpark.com/what-to-do/frightmares.
In addition, there are costumed actors roaming around the park that can possibly jump out and scare you at any time. Many are also willing to pose for selfies, though you can keep them away entirely with a $1 glow stick that can be purchased at any Lagoon gift shop.
Hours: Hours vary by attraction, though the latest any stay open is 11 p.m. Lagoon is only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October, though it will also be open Thursday, October 20.
Cost: Frightmares is included in the park admission, which is $55.95 for adults and $38.50 for kids
Location: 375 N. Lagoon Drive, Farmington
Nightmare Acres and Haunted Barn
Part of the Black Island Farms Harvest Festival in Syracuse, Nightmare Acres is the haunted portion of the attraction. The Haunted Barn includes some indoor scares, and an outdoor maze area features roaming performers that can jump out at guests. This may be a good “first” haunted house for people, though the few online reviews that are available suggest that experienced guests may find it disappointing.
Hours: Thurs., 7-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 7 p.m.-midnight
Cost: $16 per person for both kids and adults, $20 as a combo ticket with the corn maze and courtyard area
Location: 3178 S. 3000 West in Syracuse
The reviews are glowing for this Weber County haunt, and they’re deserved. One of the best haunted attractions in the state, Haunted Hollow features excellent acting, sets, scares, and use of atmosphere. I don’t want to spoil any of the surprises, but I will say that it’s a good idea to heed the list of warnings posted at the front of the attraction – if you have heart problems, asthma or other issues, this isn’t the attraction for you.
One note: the line moves very slowly because organizers are careful about pacing guests through the attraction. They show a movie while you wait – the day I went it was “Warm Bodies” – but make sure to block out enough time in advance.
Hours: Friday and Saturday, 7:30 to midnight, Weekdays (Wednesdays and Thursdays now, all week starting the week before Halloween) 7:30 to 10 p.m.
Cost: $20 per person, though there’s a $3 per person discount for groups of 15 or more
Location: 1900 W. 1550 South, West Haven
Set in an actual abandoned factory, Fear Factory makes excellent use of both the darkness and the echoing effect available because of the building. Acting is much less of a focus here, as are special effects, but the height-related scares are literal here rather than just simulated (because of stairs, portions of the attraction are inaccessible to those with disabilities). Travel Channel listed the house as one of 2015’s Best Halloween Attractions in America, and Buzzfeed just listed it as one of the scariest haunted attractions in the world.
The house also includes a zipline and a drop for an extra cost, and this year Fear Factory has added a VR scare experience (presented by VR junkies) for an additional extra cost. The VR experience, which requires guests to wear a VR set, leads guests through a computer generated haunted attraction.
The line for Fear Factory can get quite long, and because of the site parking is sometimes challenging. Guests can also park at Gateway Mall and take the Zombie Bus over to the site for no additional cost.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 7 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. to midnight
Cost: $25 general admission, $35 for admission plus one additional attraction, with other costs depending on the combo. Bounce back is also available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for $10. Visit register.growtix.com/e/fear_factory_haunted_house_2016 for the complete list.
Location: 666 W. 800 South in Salt Lake City
Nightmare on 13th
One of the most recognized and well-known haunted houses in Utah (by USA Today, The Travel Channel and Haunted Attraction Magazine), Nightmare on 13th has an excellent reputation and some of the best animatronic effects in the state. This year’s theme is “Phantasms,” and all of the sections in the haunted house connect to ghosts or the dead in some way. Some of the sets will be familiar to guests who have attended in previous years, but they’re reorganized well so the overall layout of the attraction isn’t predictable.
If you’re looking to attend the haunt on a weekend, it’s best to arrive early (or buy the VIP tickets) since the lines tend to get long. Everyone who attends gets a free photo download, though print copies of the photos cost more.
Hours: Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. to midnight, most weekdays, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Oct. 19-20 and Nov. 4-5, 7:30 to 11 p.m.
Cost: $25 regular ticket, $40 VIP ticket
Location: 320 W. 1300 South, Salt Lake
Note: Several of the haunts use a combination of strobe lights, extremely loud noises, smoke machines and jump scares.